Qwest eyes network sale
Selling the fiber-optic communications network could bring in $3
By Andy Vuong
Tuesday, April 2, 2009
Denver-based Qwest is considering a sale of its nationwide
fiber-optic communications network, an asset that could be
valued at $2 billion to $3 billion, according to The Wall Street
The network, which carries voice and data traffic across long
distances, was the central piece of "classic Qwest," the Phil
Anschutz-founded and Joe Nacchio-led company that acquired U S
West and its 14-state local-phone business in 2000.
Qwest spokesman Nick Sweers declined to comment Wednesday.
Telecommunications analyst Donna Jaegers said she was surprised
the company would consider divesting the network.
Qwest's wholesale and large-business divisions, which rely
heavily on the network and include the company's lucrative
Networx government contract, account for about 55 percent of the
company's $13.5 billion in annual revenue. Qwest's
residential and small-business phone and Internet operation
generates much of the rest.
"If they sold the long-haul network, could they keep the Networx
contract?" Jaegers said. "A lot of (that work) is
The network, which carries data traffic across long distances
for business and wholesale clients, has struggled to lure
corporate customers away from the larger AT&T and Verizon,
Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst Christopher King told Bloom berg
Chief financial officer Joseph Euteneuer estimated in February
that Qwest had less than 5 percent of the
Qwest stock dropped 3 cents to $3.72 in after-hours trading
Wednesday after gaining 33 cents during regular trading.
The network story broke after markets closed.
Tight credit markets could make it difficult for Qwest to find a
"AT&T and Verizon, I don't think are likely buyers," Jaegers
Spokesmen for potential buyers Level 3 and TW Telecom declined
Andy Vuong: 303-954-1209 or